Piazza della Signoria
Located halfway between Piazza Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria is the “salotto” of the city, having always been the seat of power in Florence, first with the Medici family, now with the Comune.
Adjacent to the Palazzo Vecchio, that showing his magnificence with fountains, statues and coats of arms of Florence, lies the entrance of the temple of Italian art: the Uffizi Gallery.
Piazza della Signoria is the central square of Florence, home of the civil power with Palazzo Vecchio and the heart of the social life of the city. L-shaped, is located in the central part of medieval Florence, south of the cathedral and a few dozen meters from the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno. In the past has had various names, such as Piazza dei Priori or piazza del Granduca.
The central element of the square is the fourteenth-century Palazzo Vecchio;
built between 1299 and 1314 to give a worthy seat to the Priors of the Arts, representatives of professional corporations that from 1282 held the government of the city and who used to reside in the Bargello.
The statues of Piazza della Signoria are not just a decorative set of the highest level, but also represent a real secular allegorical cycle, only one of its kind in the world, which was to inspire the rulers of the city on their way to the Palazzo Vecchio.
The Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1563-1565) and some of his students, including Giambologna, is the first public fountain in Florence. The great Neptune in white marble is not much loved by the Florentines who call Biancone (the famous epitope expressed by the people at the inauguration of the statue in 1565 “Ammannato Ammannato, what a beautiful marble you’ve ruined!”).
The Loggia della Signoria, also called the Loggia dei Lanzi or Loggia of Orcagna, is the very first open air museum of the world.
It was built between 1376 and 1381 by Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti with function “arengario” covered, or a balcony to harangue the crowd during the official ceremonies. From the architectural point of view the building combines Gothic elements, such as piers and the crowning perforated, with elements of classic matrix like the great arches, according to the particular interpretation of the Florentine Gothic language.
In 1555 Cosimo I will pose fact Cellini’s Perseus and in 1585 Francesco I placed there the Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna. At the end of the eighteenth century, at the time of Peter Leopold of Lorraine, was built a new production with the placement in the Loggia of numerous ancient sculptures moved to Florence from Villa Medici in Rome.